I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how important customer experience is to your business. No matter what products or services you provide, having great customer experience across all interactions can set you apart from your competitors.
So as we forget 2018 and head into 2019, what should we be thinking about for our CX backlog?
1) Prioritise your CX priorities
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of “busy work”, and focusing on customer experience changes that are the most requested/highlighted by your customers, rather than those that are going to have the biggest impact for your customers and your business.
It’s important to create a metric through which you can score and validate your CX enhancement backlog and critical that you then align these to your wider business goals and objectives.
2) Ask the right questions, in the right way
When looking to build your backlog of CX improvements, it’s important to ask the right people, the right questions in the right way.
Where we take people through more direct traditional methods, they tend to focus on functional things and often look to give us the answers they think we want to hear. Using tools that surface emotional context help us to better understand the core user need.
Using tools including Jobs To Be Done interviews and the value proposition canvas, we are able to surface customer experience pains that customers often don’t consciously recognise as being an issue (you might like to read our 10 Minute Guide on using Jobs To Be Done for more insight on using the methodology).
3) Get more personal
True personalisation has been big in CX for a few years now, but this isn’t going away. A one size fits all approach to customer experience is a thing of the past. In order to properly engage people, you need to understand them and how they want to be engaged throughout their journey.
Think about the information you have and how this can be applied across the end to end journey through real-time and right time execution.
Personalisation has never been easier than it is now, and this will only get easier as the technology driving it becomes more powerful. It can start with a simple personalised greeting right through to complex interactions based on what you know about your customer.
Think about Tom Cruise’s 2002 hit, Minority Report; as Tom’s character walks into a GAP store, he is greeted by name and he is asked how his last purchase is working out for him. This is the kind of interaction you are looking to create – ok, maybe not at this scale just yet, but the tech and data is right there waiting to enable it.
Expanding on the films GAP example, this could be taken further to suggest new items of clothing that would work well with products customers have bought in the past. This could then be executed across the best channel to reach a particular individual; email, social media, brick & mortar, apps, web, push and even print.
4) Apply AI and machine learning
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning is key to delivering personalisation at scale.
These technologies can be employed to do the heavy lifting when it comes to identifying and executing personalised experiences. They are able to process data and make decisions at real-time speeds, helping to deliver a seamless CX.
Beyond personalisation these technologies can help deliver services and speed up delivery. No matter what industry or sector you work in, speed is of the essence, customers expect instant interaction. Think about your processes and highlight repetitive tasks that could be delivered by machines rather than people.
For more information on how you can apply these types of technology, add this previous 383 blog post to your new year reading list.
5) Transparency and trust
Data is a critical component of customer experience. In 2018, GDPR significantly changed how organisations store and process data, putting ownership of data firmly in the hands of the customer. While GDPR is legislation that covers Europe, other countries outside of this region, including the USA, are likely to launch their own GDPR-esque legislation in 2019.
Besides the legal requirement, trust and transparency is very important. Your customers need to be able to trust you with their data and what you do with it. Make sure you take steps throughout your customer journeys to surface information on how you collect and use data. Think about options to allow your customers to personalise how their data is used, this could include their preferred channels of communication and frequency.
Areas of focus for customer experience in 2019
In addition to our top 5, there are some other things that you should consider as you build your 2019 backlog:
Speed – People now expect instant interaction. In “Now is Normal” we explore this in more detail – https://383project.com/blog/now-is-normal
Loyalty – How as a business do you drive loyalty? In “The secret sauce to membership and loyalty” we look at ways to achieve this https://383project.com/blog/the-secret-sauce-to-membership-and-loyalty
If you think I’m missing any priorities or would like me to expand on the implementation of any, I’m always up for a chat. Drop me a note to Ritchie.Brett@383project.com